(Montreal) The Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau Foundation is struck by the wholesale resignation of the members of its board of directors and of the president and chief executive officer, Pascale Fournier, who had been in office for five years.

In 2016, the charity received $200,000 from Zhang Bin, a political adviser to the government of China, and Niu Gensheng, a Chinese businessman and philanthropist. When this matter became known a few weeks ago, the Foundation announced that it was refunding the donation.

The Globe and Mail had alleged he was linked to a Chinese government plot to influence Justin Trudeau after he became leader of the Liberal Party (PLC).

In a statement released Tuesday, the Foundation explains that over the past few weeks, the political climate surrounding this donation has put a lot of pressure on the management and the volunteer board of directors, as well as on its staff.

The press release adds that the circumstances created by the politicization of the Foundation founded in 2001 made it impossible to maintain the status quo, which led to the departure of the board of directors and Pascale Fournier.

Three directors will remain on an interim basis so that the Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau Foundation can continue to fulfill its obligations while waiting for the renewal of the Board of Directors.

Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had had no formal or informal association with the Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau Foundation since shortly after his election.